Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Woodley Sports v FC Halifax Town - Part Two

... s'pose I should say something ... a morning of futile job hunting - a lunchtime of shopping (first leg of tomorrow night's "Come Dine With Me" - full story on this to come) - quick house tidy - and now this before college tonight ...

Last night - left the house having seen on Mossley Message Board that the pitch was "wet but playable" - as I left (approx 1750) it decided to absolutely hammer it down - aaargh - still, onward ever onward and got to Stalybridge (train) in prep for catching the (direct) bus to Hurst Cross. Met "Halifax Chris" in the Buffet Bar who mentioned their game @ Woodley Sports ... aha, a possible outlet for the night !!! Two phone calls and several txts later I found out that Mossley was "off", so it was onto the 1855 train to Ashton - and the 1915 bus (330) towards Woodley. Arrived at the ground about five minutes late (i.e. missing Woodley's opening goal) - and it was STILL hammering it down - British Summer Time my *rse ! Just about got something on Woodley's second (try putting your kit together in the p*ss*ng rain !) - and it slowly got colder - by the time Halifax got their first goal my shutter finger was completely white (yeah circulation, smoking etc - but don't forget the cold) - so I thought I'd pressed - but I hadn't !!!

Half-time helped a bit ... but not enough - the weather and night game meant I was down to 1/320 second at times - eek - hence some blur on what pix eventually went up last night. The game - well Woodley played it like they do on their pitch - crisp passing, good control and "on the deck" - so many teams (usually the defeated ones) moan about the 3G pitch - I fail to understand why. Let me make it clear - I'm not a "promoter" of this kind of surface, but ... players adapt to wet grass, dry grass, sloping pitches etc etc etc - and I'm sure there can't be many (even at the semi-pro level) who've not had SOME exposure to 3G surfaces (in so many cases ... when your own pitch is unfit for training, you go to a local school/council "all weather" option - don't you ?). Like I said on the Halifax board, "would you play pool on a bobbly table ?" For better for worse, I believe 3G is here to stay - especially in this bloody climate - so surely you should adapt in the same way you do on varying degrees of grass/dirt/concrete - maybe there is extra bounce, but it sure as hell is nowt like the "good old astroturf on concrete option" a la QPR, Oldham Athletic, Hyde United - keep it on the deck and it does run like a pool table !

Anyway to conclude, Halifax got there in the end (as regards equaliser) courtesy of James Dean (why was he on the bench at the start ?) and got a point where Lancaster City and Colwyn Bay got nowt - so I'm sure the Shaymen are happy with that.

Weather continues to be sh*te - God knows what the Good Friday fixture list will look like - Mossley at home to AFC Fylde - we did have snow last night but it soon melted (but melt still = water). Me - an Easter weekend at the Mother-in-Laws doing painting/renovating etc, so I won't be at Seel Park on Good Friday afternoon if it's on - early "football planning" (weather permitting - d'oh !) sees the possibilities of Matlock v Hucknall on Good Friday evening or Ilson v Telford on Saturday afternoon. If the "painting team" get their "parts in gear" we should be back home for Easter Monday - and the Mossley away game at Curzon Ashton - my wrist/brush action will be working overtime to ensure this appointment takes place !

"Come Dine With Me" - yes the Smiffy family are having an "internal competition" in the style of the TV proggy - and I'm kicking off tomorrow night - cooking for six (extra people turning up) including carnivores, vegetarians and one with a gluten allergy - so not simple ! Anyway- menu sorted - a fusion (confusion ?) of Greek, Spanish and Chinese - covering all options - y'never know there may well be photos to prove it (if I can find time between preparing six starters, three mains and three desserts !!) - if nowt else you'll get a copy of the menu !!

Now - to get ready for school ...

Woodley Sports v FC Halifax Town - Part One

Pix up (and better than last night - AND I've got rid of that strange JAlbum skin - I didn't like it much - preferred the good old fashioned "chameleon" !!)

Woodley Sports 2 FC Halifax Town 2

Words tomorrow - it's nearly two o'clock !!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Droylsden v Stalybridge Celtic

Another night of godawful weather - now getting heartily sick of it, and it's not even April ... for the first 45 minutes Celtic too were godawful - three down in the first half-hour - and to be honest, it was only because of Droylsden taking the proverbial "foot off the pedal" in the second half that the scoreline finished with an air of respectability about it (even then Droylsden should have got a fourth right at the death).

My efforts through the lens were similarly godawful ...

Droylsden 3 Stalybridge Celtic 2

... must do better in 18.5 hours (obviously not used to Monday football, bad weather, a floodlight in each corner, driving to a game hence "snapping without the aid of ..." etc etc - wonder what the excuses are like from "on the pitch" ... Jody Banim excused - he ran his socks off for the cause).

Finish beer and that's Monday over with ... "sign-on" as well in 14.5 hours ... groan etc

Monday, March 29, 2010

1900 hrs - Late Change of Plan

Ju-jitsu cancelled due to total indifference of small boy's "kicking partner" - too late for sensible public transport options of course !!

At least I get to use that "free ticket" from the first game ...

Ju-jitsu 1 Tameside Derby 0

... well it IS a Monday after all ... and there's football tomorrow (100% of my Recommended Weekday Allowance !).

I shall watch the Stalybridge "Score Centre" on my return though (don't worry if you look at it now - the "Match Halted - Adverse Weather is a throw-back to the original "game" last November - although the weather has been a bit rough today - not that bad though ...)

I say "football tomorrow" (Mossley v Skem @ Hurst Cross) - however there's some 'interesting' weather reports being bandied about at the moment - aaahhh the joys of spring !

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lancaster City v Mossley

... keeping it brief ... pictures at

Lancaster City 2 Mossley 1

Another late show - but not enough - deserved a draw I feel - for large periods of the game Lancaster did not look like a team gunning for promotion, and we more than held our own. After all the hard work to get back on terms, the late winner from Farrell was a sickener - credit the guy with a well-placed shot however.

Plenty of plusses from the game though - if that's the top of the table, we're a good team (remember we gave Halifax a good run for their money as well - twice !). Have to say those faint play-off hopes have probably been extinguished with defeats at Chorley and Lancaster - although ... who knows ... a top eight finish would be extremely respectable given the events of this season. A note on yesterday's attendance - 168 - not really enough to provide for a team in the Unibond Premier I feel - whether the "student holiday" made a difference I don't know - usual excellent turnout from the Mossley faithful mind ... and a fairly jolly day out on the train/rail replacement bus - usual watering holes visited - "The Pub" and the "John O'Gaunt" (a strangely unimpressive beer selection at the latter mind) ! Maybe if Lancaster could get some of those "*rsechair football fans" out of the Litton Tree (keg - eek !) it might help - that big dollop of dosh for Jordan Connerton won't go that far over a season ...

Next stop Hurst Cross on Tuesday to take on another team "up there" as in Skelmersdale United - and don't forget, all the gate money is going straight to Ashton United for their "Marcus Hallows Appeal Fund" - so get along if you can.

Now - what am I feeding Mrs Smiffy tonight after her "foreign travels" ... supermarket trip calls ...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I have finally found "The Answer" !

... and better late than never (well I was a couple of years late on Airbourne as well) !!

While Mrs Smiffy is away, what does a man do ? Not "out on the lash" - a less than quiet night in watching the stuff that I like (i.e. music TV - OK a bit of "Doctor Who" as well).

Anyway, there I was, watching Scuzz and this track popped up - "Come Follow Me" by a band called The Answer - a new one on me, and well impressed was I. Next stop naturally is Spotify to discover more tracks (they had a few) and Wikipedia to find out more about the band (Irish Hard Rock/Blues - apparently supported AC/DC on the "Black Ice" Tour). Even more impressed was I.

Next - EBay to find this album "Rise" (issued in 2006 believe it not) - bid went in on a promo copy but it finishes tomorrow afternoon (as in "football time" - criminal timing really !), so not much chance of that coming off. Next - Google the damn thing, which led me to Amazon who had a "Special Edition 2CD" copy available for £29-99 (as in the 2 CDs) ... or £4-98 to download the entire album ! Never tried to buy a download before - and I also discovered that I already had an Amazon account which I can't have used for nearly five years - even the credit card details had "EXPIRED" in big red letters next to them !!

So - I went for it, working on the theory that I'd sold something today on EBay for £10-50 - therefore I'd still be £5-52 up on the day. It's easier than I thought, this download kerfuffle, so I now have "Rise (Special Edition)" on the laptop ... and just to be cool, hip and 21st century I've downloaded the lot onto my phone (something to listen to - if necessary - on the long trip to/from Lancaster tomorrow/today).

Yeah ... I'm going Stuart ...

Anyway - I commend the band "The Answer" to the House - give 'em a listen - they rock !

LATE UPDATE - should have put this on first time around ...


Friday, March 26, 2010

Oh Dear Me ...

... alerted to this by our Michelle - looks like they picked the wrong reporter for the wrong job (double-click for big - you'll get it then !) ...

... and come June they want to charge £1 per day to read their news website - greedy greedy Murdoch - but if they keep coming up with "cock ups" like this ...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

One Parents Evening - Half a Game

... battled my way round the M60 to Walkden in godawful weather conditions - got tea, biscuits and "small boy update" - battled my way back round the M60 in godawful weather conditions - arriving Bower Fold just on half-time (to find Celtic 1-0 down).

Second half began in godawful weather conditions but slowly improved - like Celtic. They might have got to 2-1 up at one stage but what I watched was a mass of misplaced passes and hopeful punts up front, little or nothing won in the air, no-one on the edge of the box when the loose ball came out very little action down "my side" (I believe Dave Hankin was injured in the first half, and replacement Lee Dodgson seemed to be playing over on the left !) - I could go on but ... right at the death Fleetwood snatched a "smash and grab" victory - credit them for playing the full 96 minutes then (or at least the 51 minutes that I saw). A few pictures, mostly taken in godawful weather conditions at

Stalybridge Celtic 2 Fleetwood 3 (Note - JAlbum has been updated - it was a shock to me as well !)

New Manager - new players - new formations - but it doesn't appear to be gelling at all. Unlikely victories (OK victory @ AFC Telford) is quickly followed by emabarassing defeats (OK defeat @ Hyde). To paraphrase Billy Shake, "Something is rotten in the state of Stalybridge" at the moment - and it's not doing the play-off aspirations much good either (especially with Droylsden winning last night @ Redditch). Two "big ones" now for 'Bridge - Alfreton @ home on Saturday, followed by Droylsden away next Monday - points urgently required I feel ...

Now .. can I really afford Lancaster v Mossley on Saturday - the required cut in "entertainment budget" is starting to bite ...

"Failing to Excel"

Got a phone call today regarding a Data Analyst job - sounded promising ... until I was told that I would have to take an "online assessment" of my Excel spreadsheet skills first ...

Now I've NEVER been a fan of spreadsheets - to me they are a licence to fiddle, cheat and lie. I always reckoned one of the reasons that Simon Carves started to go "down the pan" was because we were forever being asked - nay ordered - to export data from the main databases (i.e. safe, solid "controlled" data) into a spreadsheet format, "because we need to manipulate the data". Manipulate my *rse - more like fiddle the data and then present it to management/client to show that all was well - when of course it wasn't ... I know that spreadsheets are widely used in the financial sector as well - wonder if that's why the GB economy also started to go "belly up" ?!?

Yes - you've guessed it ... I failed to get to the required standard - another job opportunity bites the dust ...

Off to Salford College in an hour or so - Parents Evening - see how bad small boy has been (!) - and hopefully back home in time to catch a bit of the Stalybridge/Fleetwood game later. Mrs Smiffy is away on a conference down in Welsh Wales at moment - now there's another story ... took her to catch the 1244 Trans-Pennine Express from Stalybridge to Manchester Piccadilly this lunchtime - she then had a 25 minute wait @ Piccadilly for the train to Wales. HOWEVER ... the 1244 showed up on the screens as 18 minutes late - and we all know how trustworthy those multi-million pound screens are - it would only have got later - and later ...

Yes - you've guessed it - I drove her into Manchester ... just to make sure she got the connection. So, well done Trans-Pennine - you too failed to excel !!

Pretty poor day so far then ... apart from the £20 sale on EBay ... all proceeds into the PayPal account towards a nice Canon 85mm f1.8 lens - still a long long way to go yet (more dusty boxes to empty etc etc) ...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jam Tomorrow - but Cider ASAP !

It may be a humdrum life on the "rock'n'roll" - the job hunting, the shopping, the cleaning, the photo "post processing" (tee hee), the general air of "aargh" ... but every now and again you get a real "body swerve from the norm". Yesterday whilst shopping, I got some nectarines from the "reduced counter" at the Co-op (eat sharpish like !). Mrs Smiffy ate one - and pronounced "pants !!" OK, one down three to go - but thanks to the beauty of Google - and a very simple recipe - I can now offer up the following ...

Yes, my first ever effort at jam making - it's cooling down at the moment, so God only knows if we've got a decent seal on the lid - and a decent consistency underneath it (the only pectin used is the natural stuff in the fruit) !!! Naturally I'll be the guinea pig once it's "done" as they say in the jam-making circles (myotoxcins and all that stuff) ...

However - on a more serious note - early "fall-out" from today's Budget - Cider prices will rise 10% ABOVE INFLATION - no doubt an attempt to stop the tramps (and the young 'uns) from "larging it" on White Lightning, Crumpton Oaks and the like - but it's going to cause some serious damage to the economy in Somerset and Hereford I'd have thought - already a protest record has been released ...

Just typical "21st Century Labour" really - what ever happened to 'screwing the rich' ??

Now - a plate of Mrs Smiffy's "red hot" curry (made last night while I was at football) - and then breathing fire over all at college !!

Chorley v Mossley - Avec Pix

Not much more to add to last night's ramblings - apart from these pictorial efforts (again ... blame the weather - camera lens cleaning, viewfinder cleaning, glasses cleaning - amazing I found time to go "click" really !)

Chorley 3 Mossley 2

Next up - league leaders Lancaster City away - usually a jolly "jolly boys outing" by train - and I get to see middle boy and his girlfriend as well (assuming he's not at work !). Tomorrow night (Thursday) sees a Parents Evening at Salford College for "small boy" - appointment at 7-40pm ... so I just MIGHT get back in time for the second half of Stalybridge Celtic vs Fleetwood Town ... you never know - there could be a bonus 45 minutes this midweek !

Chorley v Mossley - Sans Pix

... truly an awful night for football - and photography ! Saturday was certainly wet but tonight ... much much wetter (still drying out self and gear - hence no piccies tonight).

Truly a tale of "what if ..." tonight. Off to a flyer with a goal on 10 minutes, one disallowed for offside (maybe just maybe) (could have been 2-0) - one off the post (could have been 2-1) - should the Chorley 'keeper have got a red card (personally I don't think so - he wasn't the last man - if that means owt !) - Chorley go 2-1 up with 8 mins left and with Mossley pushing up for an equaliser the Magpies snatch a third. A late late effort by Matty Kay to make it 3-2 - but unfortunately no "Fergie Watch" available. Probably the right result on the total balance of play - but still a bit of a bugger - and a wet one at that. More tomorrow ...

(PS - well done to Belper for putting one over Mickleover Sports - and doing their play-off hopes no harm at all !)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Today's Railway Ticketing Tip ...

Chorley tonight to watch the mighty Mossley - and it's do-able by rail (in fact two of us are partaking of said journey !)

Mossley to Chorley - day return - £13-70 (good job I didn't go to Hyde last night - or nip out for those extra four cans of lemonade shandy ...)


Mossley to Bolton - day return - £3-30
Bolton to Chorley - day return - £5-30

Total £8-60 ... yes a resounding saving of £5-10 just by "ticket splitting" at Bolton - and that £5-10 buys about two lemonade shandies as well ... result !

(Just need Mossley to get one now)

Today's other bonus - a job interview in a couple of weeks' time - and it's not in IT either ... career change here I (hopefully) come !

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hope Nobody is Expecting ...

... a blow-by-blow account of tonight's big game between Hyde United and Stalybridge Celtic. Financial circumstances strictly dictate "one per midweek" at the moment- and usually have done in the past as well anyway !! Suffice to say that Hyde certainly have the Tameside "bragging rights" in the Blue Square North after defeating Celtic for the second time in 6 days thanks to a late winner from Nathan Arnold to put the icing on the cake that was baked last week at Bower Fold ... I followed the Celtic Match Centre for my sins, and early reports show similar attitudes by both teams to the previous encounter ... with phrases like "passionless" on the one side and "more up for it" on the other...

I suggest checking out the message boards of both teams - meanwhile my pennies have been suitably saved for tomorrow night at Chorley ...

Tilting at Windmills

Get your head around this lot Don Quixote !!!

A few more pictures from yesterday's walk around Naden Reservoir and environs ...

Windmills and stuff

(I think you're supposed to call them wind turbines - but that's a bit too 21st Century for me - and yes, I think they're great - sorry David Bellamy !!!)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mossley v Harrogate RA

... here are the pictures ...

Mossley 3 Harrogate RA 2

A quick "kick up the arse" to go one down - quickly rectified mind - went 3-1 up - and then a late "buttock clencher" with Harrogate getting a second with a couple of minutes left. A "scruffy win" really on a bloody awful afternoon weather-wise (just see the pictures ... that really fine "mizzle" that gets under everything, inside everything and on everything - it shows unfortunately ...).

Still three points is three points, and the roll continues to roll - now up to 9th place, one defeat in twelve - it's all starting to come together for John Flanagan (can't call him "new manager" now !) and the squad - not just that, we got a much improved attendance on Saturday despite the weather - a winning side WILL bring in the crowds, both "returnees" and "neutrals" - and one thing you can guarantee with Mossley at the moment - they will keep you on the edge of your seat/toes for the full 90 minutes !!

Next stop ... up the A6 to Chorley on Tuesday night ... bring it on !!

No Pix Last Night ...

... either straight from game (well almost) to Rochdale, walking today and then home late afternoon ...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

No Pix Tonight ...

... just drool instead - fillet steak (from Mossley's own Andy Taylor!) in a mustard sauce with new potatoes and rosemary and a rocket salad ...

Enough of this gourmet stuff - we've football in 14 and a bit hours !

(Bet I end up doing the brekky though - full English @ the weekend !)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Come Dine with Me ...

... a popular prog in our house - some watch it for the moaning and the bitching - I actually watch it for interesting recipes ... anyway, tonight as mentioned earlier I was cooking for "us plus friend" - spicy fish stew - so here we go, starting about 1745 hrs ...

... early prep ...

... onions, garlic, peppers into wok - quick "stir fry" before being joined by tomatoes, courgettes, dried chillies, veg stock and seasoning - simmer (covered) for 20 minutes ...

... meanwhile, prep fish and other veg ...

... par-boiled sliced spuds (bog standard - nowt fancy) into the oven ...

... fish and mushrooms into wok with paprika - and veg steaming away ...

...and then I realised it was the Mossley shareholders AGM early doors tonight - eek ! I left 'em all to it ... and ended up eating mine about 2100 hrs ... but very nice it was !!!

AGM Info worth sharing (and not "confidential" !) - Mossley have sorted a new shirt sponsor for next season - local heating company Warmco - club still losing £700+ for every night game that has to be played at Ashton United - creditors all happy with agreements set up (we'll be done with all "old debts" within the year) - another "tranche" of shares to be issued (with Gary from GT Grafix taking a goodly chunk - well he/his company are putting up a "goodly chunk" towards the floodlights as well - so no probs there !) - floodlights WILL be up and running for next season - last years accounts approved (!) - the confidence is there - there is a certain "comfort" with those peeps in charge - may have been more but, old man/short-term memory has kicked in (plus I've been watching "Skins" with small boy - quite enough to turn one's brain - and more - into the "off" position !!).

Here endeth Thursday ...

It made me smile ...

... it might be pants on the dole but ... today, a trip up to Top Mossley to buy "stuff" for a meal tonight - we have a friend coming round - and unfortunately the "fish wagon" wasn't there (I'm sure it always turned up on a Thursday but ... there you go). Hey ho - the Co-op will do (plus loyalty card pennies !).

Anyway - walking back past the Mossley Health Centre - I spotted this rather hilarious "door decoration" ..

Well I thought it was funny ... "vigorously with care" - covers all options (and note I've said nowt about the final word ... until now !!).

Back to the kitchen then ...

Mossley to Assist Ashton United

From the Mossley site ...

Ashton United are currently trying to raise £10,000 to launch an appeal against the court decision to award damages to an opponent injured in a match, in 2005.

In recent months, Ashton have been very generous, in offering neighbours Mossley AFC the use of their Hurst Cross ground for evening matches after Mossley’s floodlights were deemed unsafe.

We at Mossley AFC have greatly appreciated the support Ashton United have given our club, during this period without floodlights. Without this offer we would have been unable to continue.

As a sign of our appreciation, we have agreed that our next game at their ground, all gate income will be donated to their fund.

We would request all football supporters in Tameside to join us, in raising funds to assist in this very important appeal that can affect all football clubs in the future.

The game in question takes place on Tuesday 30th March between Mossley and Skelmersdale United - it would be good to see some neutrals there as well - Skelmersdale are "up there" in the play-off zone and we could end up doing certain clubs a favour that evening (yes Curzon Ashton !) - as well as doing Mossley's play-off aspirations no harm at all. Yes - play-offs for Mossley ... something that's not really been mentioned up to now, but certainly something that is not out of the question - still a few games in hand on the teams above and with the present form (over the last 10 games we're second behind FC Halifax in the form table with a record of won 6 drawn 3 lost 1 (against FC Halifax !)) ... who knows ?? If the results go the way of Mossley this Saturday, they could find themselves up in 8th place ......

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Interesting Job Offer from Canon ...

Got an e-mail today ... as follows ...

Based on your career profile, you may be interested in the following job(s). Please review the job description(s) and if you wish to continue the process, click on the job link below.

CFI0106 -- Yhteyspäällikkö Canon Business Center Ouluun

Haemme nyt lisää myyntivoimaa Canon Business Center Ouluun

Etsimme 19 hengen tiimiimme yhteyspäällikköä vastaamaan nimettyjen asiakassuhteiden ylläpidosta ja kehittämisestä sekä uusasiakashankinnasta. Toimialueesi rakentuu Oulun talousalueen asiakkuuksista erittäin monipuolisessa yrityskentässä. Tehtävässä onnistuminen edellyttää sinulta aitoa kiinnostusta asiakkaittesi liiketoimintaa kohtaan ja halua kehittää heidän työnkulkujaan tulostuksen- ja dokumentinhallinnan osalta.

Työskentelyotteeltasi olet aktiivinen, tuloskeskeinen ja pitkäjännitteinen. Kommunikoit sujuvasti eri tahojen, niin yritysjohdon kuin tekniikan ja hankinnan ammattilaisten kanssa. Koulutustaustasi on kaupallinen ja suomen lisäksi tulet toimeen myös englannin kielellä.

Tervetuloa menestymään kanssamme!

Canon on arvostettu brändi kautta maailman. Olemme luovuuteen ja innovatiivisuuteen innostava kumppani, yhteisö- ja ympäristövastuullinen edelläkävijä, kuunteleva huipputeknologian ja palveluiden kehittäjä.

Lisätietoja tehtävästä: aluepäällikkö Petri Mattila, Canon Business Center Oulu, p. 040 716 9391.

Odotamme hakemustasi ja CV:täsi palkkatoiveineen viimeistään 31.3.2010.

Might be a bit cold "oop north" - and my lack of Finnish could also be an obstacle !!!!

Trafford v Mossley

... nearly forgot - there was some action on the pitch as well ...

Trafford 3 Mossley 3

... although for a supposed "six goal thriller", it was a pretty poor effort by yours truly !! I guess everyone is allowed an "off day" ...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Melford Knight - time to retire...?

In short - and there's no legal problems about this next statement (because I was a witness) - tonight a Mossley supporter was attacked by an opposition player IN THE CAR PARK AFTER THE GAME...........

... so - me home from tonight's game at Trafford - a 3-3 draw with Trafford nicking an equaliser in the 94th minute - but the game was totally overshadowed by the "apres match antics" b*ll*x to the pictures for now anyway.

The game of football covers many many things - and at the non-league level "things" are more easily put into focus, due to smaller crowds and the closeness of players and fans. Banter and insults are more obvious - reactions are naturally more obvious - tonight we (or at least three of us) saw the darker side.

Melford Knight - he's "been around" as they say in non-league circles - spent three years with Mossley - a solid midfield player with an eye for goals (scored 16 for Mossley in just over 100 appearances). However - there was aways that "edge" about the man - cannot give you the red/yellow card stats - and that "edge" was never a comfortable one. He left Mossley "under a cloud" - mostly due to the demise of Jason Beckford - and has moved around a bit since then - so you could say there IS a bit of "previous" with some of the Mossley fans.

We've crossed paths on several occasions since his departure from Seel Park - and naturally he has received some stick - as most ex-players do. Tonight was no exception (me as the photographer - looking to stand in the right place for ME - note that I was not standing with most of the Mossley fans - I never do - but we are talking about a crowd of 106 - you can hear everything ...). Now hear this - Melford Knight was Trafford's captain tonight - don't you expect the man with the armband to lead by example ? He got a yellow card tonight - he continually moaned - he continually niggled - and he continued to show that bit of skill that makes him a good player .... but that "edge", that bloody "edge" - and I'm afraid the yellow card proves that point - and that was his behaviour ON the pitch ...

Anyway - to the point (if you're all still awake) - Trafford snatch a late equaliser - Mossley fans not pleased - much shouting at all as they leave the pitch (even the Trafford fans admitted that the set of officials tonight were p*ss poor !). I'd turned up at the game via train - but was offered a lift back to Mossley - which I accepted. We got back to the car (NOTE - car park about 200 yards from the ground) - doors unlocked - and then it kicked off - we three were surrounded by some Trafford players - and the "cronies" of one certain player (guess who) - and this particular player (guess who) hit my fellow passenger on the head - this particular player (guess who) and his "cronies" (some of whom were NOT Trafford players it has to be said) continued to push/shove/insult/threaten - and may well have damaged the car ( the owner will be checking in the full light of day tomorrow - any damage costs may well be forwarded to Trafford FC) - to put it bluntly they were a total disgrace to Trafford FC - as far as I am concerned a particular player (guess who) should be sacked immediately, told to attend anger management classes and also learn to cope with football banter on his own rather than taking the cowardly route of "getting his gang together"... I could say that the behaviour tonight was akin to a Sunday morning pub team - but I feel I would be doing a disservice to Sunday morning pub teams ...

So Trafford - while that particular player (guess who) is involved with your club - he disgraces your club and therefore I'm afraid you as a club disgrace this league.

(Can I just add one "voice of reason" - Joe & Robyn - you were the attempted "calm down" side of things - but I'm afraid you had no chance - your particular team mate (guess who) and his "cronies" just ... f**ked it up -so it's up to you whether you feel the need to be involved with people like that).

I await any further comments ...


Monday, March 15, 2010

Black Monday ...

... well afternoon anyway - a couple of e-mails received today ....

Thank you for your recent application for the role above. I am sorry to say that you have not been selected for the initial interviews to be held during the next 2 weeks but we will retain your CV on file for further review should these interviews fail to produce a clear winner.

Many Thanks for your interest in E***** E***** and good luck in your job search.

and later on ...

Thank you for your application - Req//105075 Data Analyst

Having assessed your skills and experience for this role, I am sorry but you have been unsuccessful on this occasion. However, I have found your CV of interest and have placed it on our internal CV document search engine.

Hey ho - made £16 on Ebay today - could well be the future - because there seems to be naff all in computing ... tomorrow is the "directive" from the DWP (as in some "Back to Work" refresher type thing) - whoo hoo ... and only after certified attendance will I be permitted to attend football no doubt - ha ha ...


Weekend in Northumberland - Part Two

A few (non-football !) 'snaps' from the weekend to be found here ...

... and a quick plug for "Cafe Delicious" on Market Street, Alnwick - excellent tapas !

Next stop - Trafford v Mossley, tomorrow night ...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekend in Northumberland - Part One

... football first as they say !! A comfortable win for the home team to be honest - and despite wearing the "wrong trousers" and an outsized number 5 shirt, the Embleton Whinstone Rovers "number five" was very tasty indeed - he covered a lot of ground and created havoc in the Bamburgh Castle defence. The Bamburgh "number five" was all set to explode towards the end - a real "blood pressure job" - but he couldn't be faulted for his effort either. Good weather - and a nice pub just up the road (the Greys Inn) made it a good afternoon all round - some pictures at

Embleton Whinstone Rovers 3 Bamburgh Castle 1

It was a weekend up in Northumberland staying with some old friends from Mossley - and Mossley AFC in fact - Lynn and Andy - excellent weather - excellent food - excellent company - seaside - and football - result !! More to come picture/word wise ... but now - some (take away) tea !!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tomorrow I will be mostly watching ...

... Embleton Whinstone Rovers v Bamburgh Castle in the North Northumberland League Division 2 ...

Different eh ?

Zippy leaves DragonForce !

(One of mine from Manchester Academy - December 2006)

Official statement:

It is with great regret that DragonForce announce a parting of the ways with singer ZP Theart. This is due to insurmountable differences of musical opinion but the rest of the band sincerely wish ZP great success with his future projects.

While the creative core members have begun writing the fifth album, they have also started a worldwide search for a new vocalist. “We are looking for a powerful melodic singer, to write a new chapter of DragonForce with us.” said guitarist Herman Li.

Anyone wishing to audition for the vacant position should apply following the instructions at this web address

A great shame - anyone out there fancy the gig ?


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stalybridge Celtic v Southport

... yes I know, it should really have read "Radcliffe Borough 0 Mossley 1" (four wins in a row now, three of them away from home - now up to 12th !), but we are suffering from some fairly serious computer problems at home at the moment (Mrs Smiffy appears to have obtained a variant of the Kryptik trojan on her pc and it's completely knackered the internet setup), so I was trying to sort that out yesterday afternoon - which went into early evening - so Celtic ended up as the only option.

When I got to Stalybridge Station - the lights were out on Platform 1 - electrical fault (they must have known that Southport were coming - the previous game between the two teams was abandoned on 86 minutes ... when the floodlights went out - electrical fault !!)

It was a much changed side for Celtic, due to injuries and "new boys" - and to me (strictly neutral of course), it looked somewhat disjointed - Hankin looked a lonely figure out on the right while nearly everything came down the other side to new boy Michael Twiss. The other major problem (for Celtic anyway) was the presence of ex-Hyde United man Earl Davis in the centre of things for Southport - to put it simply, he had a blinder - won everything in the air - and quite a lot on the ground as well (as some of the pictures show) - oh yes - pictures are at

Stalybridge Celtic 0 Southport 1

Southport took the lead just on half-time - but had already had one disallowed for offside and one that came back off the bar. The second half was disappointing - the substitutions made little difference, Earl Davis continued to "gobble everything up" - and some of the time-wasting tactics used by Southport were a little hard to take (although it did prove that they had a certain respect for their opposition I guess). So - the three-match unbeaten run came to an end for Celtic, and the win puts Southport four points behind leaders Fleetwood Town (with two games in hand), with Alfreton Town now third after their 5-0 demolition of Droylsden last night.

Meanwhile the Mossley bandwagon keeps rolling on ...

Monday, March 08, 2010

Losing my Ebay "virginity" ...

... in the selling sense anyway !! Well I have got a fair few years (and boxes) of accumulated "stuff" (notice use of the word "stuff" rather than "cr*p" !), so ... worth a try isn't it ? So - four (football) programmes and two (non-football) badges later ... six and a bit days to go ...

Curzon v Wakefield game off tonight - frozen pitch - the stars are out again as we write, so I wonder what tomorrow will bring football-wise - and I wonder where I'll end up ... if anywhere ... (possibly) more bugger !

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The "Man in Black"

... no not Johnny Cash, but the oft-maligned arbiter of our beautiful game - spotted this today on the Glossop Message Board (thanks to "Haggis"), and thought it worth sharing a bit more ...

Hilarious !

Saturday, March 06, 2010

No Wake in Wakefield !

... well I've been to one this week - more than enough.

A right good day out today. On the train at 1155 - having discovered an even cheaper way to get there ! Weigh it up - Mossley to Wakefield return is £12-20. The usual plan is Mossley to Marsden (£5-20) and a West Yorkshire Day Rover (£5-30), thus saving £1-70. However, thanks to "Northern Duo", a pair of us got the Mossley to Marsden leg for £7-80 (one full, one half), so another £1-30 saved each !! We'll beat this stupid ticketing system (if you can call it a "system") EVERY TIME !!

Arrived in Wakefield about 1315 - we had young Callum with us so pub options were limited - ended up in the Wetherspoons - they'll have anyone, anytime (a great shame really - I can remember founder Tim Martin's initial "ideals" back in the late 70s/early 80s - those ideals now sadly thrown out of the window in the pursuit of profit !) - spent the train savings in there before we took a "roundabout route" (!) to College Grove.

A pretty even start to the game - well until Wakefield took the lead via their version of Peter Crouch ! The equaliser had a hint of "dodgy" about it in my mind - but the ref's decision is final of course (especially when it's in YOUR favour !). However all the good work was undone just before half time when Ryan Pleasants made it "unpleasant" for Mossley.

As the second half went on it wasn't looking brilliant - lots of pressure from Mossley but no product - and Wakefield still looked dangerous going forward. However, the old adage of "It's a 90+ minute game" - that Mossley have played to so many times this season - came to fruition when Chris McDonagh smacked one in from the edge of the box to set up a tense final 10 minutes ... and with one minute left on the clock, a moment of pure magic from Lee Blackshaw - squirming through the penalty area before slotting home - saw Mossley snatch a 3-2 win which takes them to the giddy heights of 13th place in the Unibond 1 North - still with games in hand over a few teams above !

If you've made it this far, you'll be looking for these no doubt ...

Wakefield 2 Mossley 3

(Pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be a fairly good set - I was a bit dubious at the end of the game (that "crisis of confidence" is still alive and kicking in the Smiffy psyche for some reason ... if someone would give me an effing job it may well put this "all to bed" as they say)

A happy trip home - with time for a swift slurp in Huddersfield - and in deference to Friday night's "Heavy Metal Britannica" on BBC4 which featured rather a lot of Iron Maiden, I managed a pint of Harviestoun "Number of the Beast" in the "Head of Steam" on Hudd Station ! Anyone else watch that last night ? I was a touch disappointed with the Beebs "apparent history" of Heavy Metal which just seemed to stop dead at the end of the 70s ... and the half-hour prog following that was AWFUL - picked some right duff tracks - "Wise Man" by Uriah Heep - heavy metal - give me strength ! Anyway the Iron Maiden tour movie made up for it - even though I'd seen a lot of the stuff the night before when they showed the "Flight 666" film ... but I digress ...

Back to Mossley to catch the last 15 minutes of the Wolves/Man United game - Scholes scored just as we were getting off the train - he could have waited a couple of minutes - then home to this ...

Tomorrow sees a bit of DIY in the "new curtain rail" area ... and then to create something with some lumps of braising steak ... but a trip to Rajas for a copy of the "Non League Paper" will of course come first (although I must remember to take steak out of freezer tonight - in fact I'll do it now !) OK - steak now defrosting ... best finish this off and "have a trawl round" - early spots show Stalybridge winning and Belper losing ... best get up to speed before the paper tomorrow ...

Recruitment Agencies - Waste of Space ?

When I joined the ranks of the "great unwashed", one of the first "tips" I got was to sign on to a number of recruitment agencies - and thanks to the beauty of virtual job-hunting you can upload CVs etc to apparently "increase your profile" and "put yourself in front of hundreds of recruiters" - sceptical was I ...

I've tried several different CV "styles" - dependent on who I talked to, each version was "very good" - I was told that the trick is to tweak it each time you apply, dependent on thejob itself - cover letters were another topic where conflicting advice appeared - "don't make it too long" - "don't make it too short" etc etc.

... oh, and don't forget to set up the "job alerts", so the agencies can e-mail info about the opportunities that fit your "keywords"...

Now - this morning - I received one such alert - a developer job - "looks familiar" I said - as many of them do. Checking back through my "job diary" (that thing you have to show down at the Dole to show that you're actually doing SOMETHING), I noticed that I first applied for this job on 29th January. The same 'job' "re-appeared" on the 19th February - so I re-applied using different CV/Cover Letter option. And now it's back ... who are the fussy ones, the agencies or the actual prospective employer ? If the post STILL hasn't been filled 2 months down the line, isn't it time somebody in the whole chain of communication started to lower their sights a bit - or for that point, does the job really exist ?? You really start to wonder at times - these recruitment agencies are apparently taking a serious "rake off" for every post they fill - but these people seem to be in the position of "Playing God" in the whole recruitment process - and preventing people who "can do" from actually "doing" - or even getting in front of an employer to prove it ...

Depressing isn't it ?

Friday, March 05, 2010

Breaking News from Wakefield ...

... and all this just before the visit of Mossley tomorrow

Hot off the presses today - yes it's Wakefield District Housing presenting their experiences of Implementing Cascade's fully integrated HR and Payroll system, and describing how this saved them loadsa money (probably by sacking a few software developers - ahem !) ... truly a "top ten" Youtube hit !

Follow that Lilywhites ...

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A Humdrum Thursday ...

(To the sound of "A Day in the Life" ...)

... applied for three jobs (got knock-back on one late this afternoon - sulk)
... had haircut (by Giuseppe)
... swapped some curtains (eyelet for "ordinary")

... got specs "mended" (dodgy screw)
... cooked tea (oriental style salmon with stir-fry veg)

... opened letter confirming our endowment mortgage is "short" - (something to use a chunk of the redundancy pittance towards - sulk)
... new CD arrived from EBay "Stereo Spirit" by Daby
Touré (from Mauritania)

Fallen asleep yet ? Me neither ... 1500 hrs on Saturday soon comes around though ...

But first ... Friday !!!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Day of Departures

... a simple yet effective "celebration of life" today at Rochdale Crematorium for Steve Bostock - well attended, much emotion and a dignified farewell for someone who was slightly more than just a "workmate" - we had photography in common too - I need to play "catch-up" big style in that area though ... anyway farewell Steve - you will be missed ....

A bad 24 hours all round - on Tuesday night Macc Town Manager Keith Alexander passsed away after returning home from the Silkmen's away game at Notts County ...furthermore Michael Foot has also "left the political arena" as has Winston Churchill ... enough ...

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

PC Football & DVD Football

... a quiet night in, taking advantage of Bamber Bridge's excellent live match update gizmo - and having a bit of a laugh at the same time ! And it was Mossley who had the last laugh with an important 2-1 away victory which, coupled with Woodley's 2-0 defeat at Trafford, nudges them another place up the table - and also gets the goal difference back to zero !

At "sign on" today at the Department of (No) Work and (Frozen) Pensions, I was politely informed that, as I had been signing on for six weeks I now have to attend a "Back to Work" session - I say "politely informed" - the actual wording is "I am directing you to take the action below" - naturally if I fail to carry out this "Jobseeker's Direction" I 'could' lose ... you know the rest ... hey ho ... appears on the face of it to be nowt more than a reminder about what I'm already doing (although highly unlikely to touch on phrases like "ageism" - because that doesn't happen any more - does it ? ).

Now that the PC football has finished - and in deference to Mossley's trip to Wakefield FC on Saturday - I've pulled out a DVD which I bought several weeks ago, but haven't got round to watching - it's the Emley vs Stalybridge Celtic NPL "title decider" from April 2001 - it's 1-0 to Emley at the moment (half-time) but we all know the final score don't we ? One of those games where I can say "I was there !" (after several pints in Fernandes Brewery Tap !) - and I missed the late winner rushing for the train home !

Tomorrow - off to Rochdale to attend Steve Bostock's funeral - sad times - or a celebration of his life ... I'll go with the latter.

Ashton United v Matlock Town

... as I'd declared myself "unavailable" for the Mossley game @ Bamber Bridge tonight and no ju-jitsu for small boy, it was a choice of the two Ashtons last night - and it was to Hurst Cross that I went (no thanks to the bloody 408 bus - ten minutes late going up and non-existent going back !), eschewing the "top of the table" clash between Curzon and Lancaster (can't beat a good "eschew" now and again !).

An even first half - and it was going pretty much the same way in the second 45. Just when we were all looking at a 0-0 stalemate, up pops Ross Hannah with a marvellous free kick to put the Gladiators in front. The turning point was the goal-line clearance at the other end, closely followed by a killer second goal on 89 minutes that did flatter the visitors to be honest.

Pictures at

Ashton United 0 Matlock Town 2

Can't complain at the effort put in by Ashton - they did hit the woodwork as well (which I contrived to miss !). While play-off hopes may be fading, Danny Johnson has assembled a good nucleus of players - wonder how long Moyo-Modise will be there - a very useful acquisition if I may say so - and once Marlin Piana gets back to 100%, who knows ? The creativity IS there - maybe the addition of a target man would be the final piece in the jigsaw.

That's real football over for the midweek though - fingers crossed for Mossley tonight though ... back to "work hunt" now - 'tis "sign on" day as well (sulk) ...

Nearly forgot - a Matlock game would not be the same without "Rico" phoning through his report - so I present ... "Rico @ Work" - courtesy babycam